Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Pictures 2014

We had our annual Easter pictures done of the boys a couple of weekends ago... and they went great! Our first professional photos of all 3 boys were a huge success. Yaaay! Ollie the bunny was cooperative and photogenic for us for the 3rd year in a row. HUGE thanks to Danielle for another successful session!

These were our favorites... I'm in love... Times 3!







Happy Wednesday and Happy Spring from the cutest little men I know!!
 
Easter Pics 2012
Easter Pics 2013

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend kicked off for us on Saturday when the boys and I went to Barnesville for the afternoon to spend time with lots and lots of extended family at the annual fish fry held at my parents' house. The weather was pretty nasty but the show went on. Terrell wasn't up for going so I handled the big family gathering solo... and it was pretty crazy. Thank goodness I had my sister helping me out. It was pretty overwhelming trying to keep up with my crew but thankfully AnAn came to our rescue! Whew. We missed daddy big time but I'm glad I was able to go and see family that I don't see very often and introduce Layton and let the big boys dye eggs. It was an exhausting but fun start to our Easter festivities. (Thanks again for all your help AnAn!!)

The boys and I got home in time for baths and bedtime on Saturday night and Terrell and I enjoyed a glimpse of our future... home for the holidays! Haha. For the first time ever we stayed at our own house on Easter Eve and made a day trip to the hometown on Easter. It was really nice and made things way easier on Terrell who is still recovering from surgery but was determined not to miss Easter. I am so thankful for him!

Sunday morning the boys woke up to lots of goodies in their buckets. This year the big boys got things like new plates, books, flip flops, bubble bath, flashlights, mini monster trucks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, chalk for their chalkboard, and eggs filled with candy, jelly beans, and piggy bank money. They were pretty excited. 


We went to our home church for Easter and it was such a blessing. We enjoyed a wonderful service celebrating our Risen Savior. Every year Easter means more and more to me. And this year my biggest boy understood a lot. I let him watch this video and he said he wanted to follow Jesus. That's my ultimate prayer for him and his brothers.

After church my mom made our family pictures for us. It's an Easter tradition. =)


Then Layton got to take a few extra pictures since it was his first Easter.

 
This picture before the egg hunt cracks me up. =)
 
We had a delicious feast with my parents, sister and brother-in-law, grandparents, and aunt and uncle. My parents are the best hosts! 
 
After lunch my boys got to open Easter presents/treats from Granna and Papa. They were thrilled. (Part of the reason we go so simple and practical at Easter is because Granna and Nana give them lots of Easter goodies too. They're only slightly spoiled. Ha!) Once they had a chance to go through their new stuff and check everything out, the big boys had a huge egg hunt all to themselves! The original plan was to have the egg hunt with several cousins at the fish fry the day before, but when the weather didn't cooperate it had to be postponed. Terrell's parents came over to watch too and the boys had a blast. Austin was more interested in quality as he tried to check each egg along the way, while Garrison was more interested in quantity and scooped up as many eggs as possible as quickly as possible. We are swimming in candy at our house now. =)

We were all exhausted after we got home last night (partly due to the super full day we had and partly due to playing I-Spy for almost an hour straight on the way home). We are so thankful to serve a Risen Savior and to celebrate on Easter with lots of family. We truly are blessed beyond measure.

****Big, BIG, BIG THANK YOU to my parents for hosting 2 major events at their house on back to back days! (You pulled it off without a hitch and desserved the day off today!) We enjoyed our Easter weekend!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favorites: Easter Week Edition

My favorites from the week:

*Layton wore this outfit on Palm Sunday... it was Garrison's first Easter outfit. Just precious.
 
*And here's my firstborn on his very first Easter. (They are pretty much the exact same age in these pictures.)
 
*Bathtime sweetness! (Layton looks bald in this picture. Haha. Too cute.)
 
*My big boys LOVE a bubble bath. It always guarantees an extra long bathtime with very little drama at all. Bubble baths are awesome. =)
 
*Smiles and coos from my littlest have melted my heart over and over this week!

 
*Austin's class had their Easter egg hunt on Wednesday and were so adorable. He's the oldest in his class with his September 3rd birthday, and I think that may have given him the egg hunt advantage. =)


 
*Then on yesterday Garrison's class had their egg hunt. The big PreKers had eggs that were labeled with a number 1 through 20 and were then assigned a numbered egg to look for. Garrison got the number 3 and had to hunt for eggs labeled with a 3. This made for a fair, educational, and longer than normal egg hunt for the big kids. Garrison loved it... but I think he's going to appreciate a "traditional" egg hunt this weekend too.



*Terrell had out-patient back surgery on Wednesday and we are SO thankful for how well the surgery went and for how smoothly the recovery is going. This week has been a little wild with all we've had going on but God has been faithful. I've definitely had my moments of feeling overwhelmed but we're making it. It's not always pretty but we're all here getting through it together. Hopefully once Terrell fully recovers and we get through another crazy week of appointments next week we can settle in and catch our breath. That's our prayer for sure!

HUGE thanks to Terrell's mom and my parents for helping us out this week!! I have been stretched thin all week and having them here has been the biggest blessing! It's never easy or convenient to be off of work and travel an hour here and back so we are soooo appreciative of them and their sacrifices this week!

Happy Easter Weekend! Beyond grateful that He is Risen!! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Craziest Most Stressful Outing Ever

Last Friday morning, as one last Spring Break outing, I decided to take the boys to McDonald's for a snack and time on the playground. Normally our restaurant playground of choice is Chick-Fil-A, but our Chick-Fil-A tends to be super crowded during school breaks plus it's farther from our house, so this time I felt McDonald's was best. We have a really nice McDonald's near our house and they have a huge play area (bigger than CFA's) and the boys can get apple slices and a cookie and lots of times we get the place to ourselves. Win-win-win.

Except this trip to McDonald's wasn't a win-win-win, it was a win-win- LOSE. It was embarrassing. And dramatic. And crazy. And now, (and only now) almost a full week later, pretty hilarious. Etched in my brained forever.

Let me elaborate...

When we arrived around 11:00 am on Friday morning I managed to get apple slices, cookies, 2 small waters, one big boy, one little boy, one baby boy in a carseat, one purse, and myself lugged into the playground area. There were 2 small children exiting as we entered and we had the place to ouselves just as I predicted. We ate our snack and the big boys got to playing. They climbed, they slid, they laughed, they ran, they told me how much fun they were having. And all the while, baby brother slept in his seat. It was perfection. The perfect outing. Fun for the big boys, naptime for the baby boy, and a relaxing time for mama. I could have brought a book. Things were going GREAT.

We were there almost an hour (by ourselves) when I realized the lunch crowd was coming in and I was hungry for lunch myself... aka we should wrap up our time on the McDonald's playground and head home. I told the boys to slide 3 more times and then we'd need to go. As I was telling the boys this 2 or 3 families with kids entered the playground area to have lunch. And one of the families stood out because it included a mom with several kids. She actually had 4 boys and 1 girl with her. And she stood out to me right away because she had 5 kids with her, 4 of them being boys. If I had to guess I'd say she had a boy around 11, a girl around 9, another boy around 7 (he looked older than Garrison), another boy around 3 (he looked older than Austin) and another boy around 1. Wow. I admired her from afar.

My big boys continued to play and I reminded them of their last slide down. Austin had been at the highest point of the playground a few minutes before and needed Garrison's help to get down off a ledge/step because his feet couldn't touch the ledge below the one he was on and he had scraped his belly. (This is important to remember.) Once he slid down he came over and let me check on him and give him a hug but then he was off again to slide down one last time before we had to leave.

In the meantime, Garrison had made his way down and so we waited together for Austin to slide down. Except Austin didn't slide down. We called for him and watched for him. Nothing. So Garrison went up to find him. Turns out he was stuck at the very top. Again. The absolute highest point. I'm not even sure why it's there really because you don't need that ledge to get to the slide. Anyway, Garrison tried to help him down but no cigar. I tried coaching Austin on an easy way to get down with Garrison's help. Again, no cigar. Wasn't working. He wasn't moving.

At that point I figured he just needed a minute or the threat of us leaving him and he'd come on down. I told Garrison to come down without him and to go ahead and get his shoes on. I thought that might make Austin come down too. When that didn't work I thought for sure he'd come down once he saw Garrison with his shoes on and me gathering up our belongings. Nope. He wasn't moving. I tried talking to him in calm, loving tones. I tried being demanding. I tried making threats of leaving him there. Which he decided he was fine with. He decided he'd live at McDonald's before he'd come down off that big, high step he was on.

So then I'm starting to feel a little nervous. No way I wanted to climb up there and get him myself but reality was setting in. And there were witnesses. Ahhh. The worst! I tried one more thing before accepting my fate. I sent Garrison up to try to help him down one more time and when that didn't work I told him to try to physically pull Austin down off the step/ledge. That didn't go so well. Austin panicked and started crying and held on for dear life and Garrison wasn't strong enough to pull him down even though he had him by both feet and was trying with all his might. It was crazy to watch. Sort of funny, sort of scary. I struck out again.

Just before I decided I'd have to leave Layton under the watchful eye of Garrison so I could make the dreaded climb up to the tip top of McDonald's playground, the sweet lady with all the kids offered some help. First she offered to watch Layton while I climbed up. Then she quickly thought of another idea. She offered to send her daughter up to try to help him get down. While I hated the thought of needing help from a stranger with my very own child in a public place (how embarrassing!), I thought it was worth a shot... plus I was quickly running out of options.

The sweet 9ish year old girl climbed up and started talking to Austin and was so sweet and sincere. You could tell she was a big sister. I was so thankful for her gentle spirit.... and her help!

Except Austin still wasn't moving. And he was crying a little and scared and still insisting he was staying at McDonald's.

Insert: OPERATION TIME FOR MAMA TO MAKE THE CLIMB.

So while the sweet girl was still tyring her best to get Austin to come to her and while Austin was still crying and refusing to move, I was climbing up a narrow-not-meant-for-grown-ups plastic, spiral staircase feeling dizzy and claustrophobic. And trying not to get stuck. It was fun.

Finally I reached my destination and wouldn't you know as soon as I laid eyes on my baby I see him cautiously leaning into the arms of the sweet girl and her carefully easing him down. Of course. I then waited around in my cramped position to see if he wanted to slide down or go back down the stairs with me. He chose to slide down with his new friend and life saver while I got out of there as fast as I could. And I'm sure the view of me backing out of a teensy tiny entrance not meant for grown-ups was attractive.

Anyway. I met Austin at the bottom and for some super strange reason he decided he wanted one more trip up for just one more slide down. Ummm, no sir. Not gonna happen. We just had to stage a major intervention getting you down so you will not be going back up.

And then it happened. I grabbed Austin before he could dash back up the playground and told him it was time to go. We had to go home because it was lunch time and we would come back another day. Upon hearing this news he decided to have his first (and worst!) ever public meltdown. It. was. awful. He started crying. Loudly. He went limp. He refused to be consoled. He tried to get away from me. He had to be wrestled and physically restrained to get his shoes on. He tried to take his shoes off. He cried some more. Loudly. In public. Then he just refused to leave McDonald's. He was crying in the floor refusing to leave with me and preparing to camp out at McDonald's forever.

My mind was racing as I surveyed the situation. At one point I picked up Layton's carseat and told Garrison to hold my purse and attempted to drag Austin. Except that didn't work. Austin is heavy, especially when limp and resistant. Layton is heavy, especially when in his carseat. So that was just a bad idea. Guess I was hoping Austin would miraculously decide he preferred his home and family over McDonald's and would just walk out with me no problem. Wishful thinking.

So I tried comforting him and reassuring him and getting through to him. That didn't work either. After that I was done. So tired. So frustrated. So tired of witnesses. SO out of options. No more nice mama. Then I just threatened him with anything I could think of...in whispers of course. Unfortunately by then he was so upset there was no reasoning with him and pretty much all hope was lost. I had no idea what to do. I was on the verge of panicking. I couldn't leave Austin unattended to take Garrison and Layton to the car. I couldn't leave Garrison and Layton unattended to take Austin to the car. But there was no way I could manage getting all 3 of them to the car. For a second I considered calling Terrell. But how ridiculous is that? Hey babe, I'm stuck at McDonald's with our children. Like trapped. We can't leave. It's an emergency and I need you to come rescue me ASAP! I'm telling you my mind was racing. Such a stressful predicament!!

But then God sent an angel my way. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the mom with all the kids get up from her table and talk to her kids and then walk towards me.

She said, I'm going to take him out to the car for you. I'm just going to scoop him up. Will he kick and scream? I can do kicking and screaming if that's okay with you. I was almost speechless. In shock. But then I came to my senses and took her up on her offer. Because what other option did I have?

She picked up Austin, and I think he must've been tired from his massive meltdown because he seemed sort of out of it (but continued with quiet sobs of course), and I grabbed the heavy carseat and Garrison's hand and we walked to the car. With a stranger carrying Austin. It was surreal. Even though it was happening, I couldn't believe it was happening. I kept apologizing and thanking her and saying things like:

Thank you so much! He's never done this. I can't believe he just had a huge meltdown. I have no idea why he wouldn't leave with me. Thank you! I'm so sorry! Please tell your daughter thank you! This is crazy. I just can't believe this happened. I'm so sorry. Thank you for your help!

And then she said things like:

Oh I've been there. We just had a meltdown yesterday at Chick Fil A. It was awesome. Once you have more kids than you do hands, things get tricky. (I have 4 boys and 1 girl.) It happens. Believe me, I know. I understand.

And then we got to the car and she strapped Austin into his seat while I watched in disbelief. It was so strange. I was worn out and embarrassed from all the drama, shocked at the turn of events that had taken place with a sweet stranger, and overcome with gratefulness and relief that God provided a way out. We made it! In one piece! I survived my first (and worst I hope!) public massive meltdown. I thanked her again before she left to go back inside McDonald's and all she said was No problem. From one mama to another. And from that point forward I vowed to rescue and lend a hand to another mama in her time of need one day. She was such a motivator and inspiration to me in that moment.

We drove home in silence. Then Austin fell apart again once we got inside. Then I loved on my baby who was pretty traumatized. Maybe as traumatized as me. Then he got over it. And climbed to the top of huge jumpy slides the very next day. And is ready and willing to return to the playground whenever.

Me? I'm still scarred. But surprisingly able to laugh about it today. Sort of. And I'm inspired. And motivated to help another mama out. And thankful for God's provisions... even in the middle of the McDonald's playground.

Now let's hope this little experience remains the craziest most stressful outing ever.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2 Months Old

My baby boy is now 2 months old! His birthday was Saturday and we had his well check this morning. Austin went with me and we were there a while, but Austin did great and so did Layton... til it was time for his shots. Poor baby. That just doesn't ever get any easier. =(

Layton's 2nd month has been a little challenging and crazy and even stressful at times but we are so thankful we think we've turned a corner. My sweet baby started having tummy issues and was fussy and crying lots, so after a few poop samples and an extra doctor's appointment, I cut dairy out of my diet and we've finally seen some improvement! We're still working through some unrelated "unknowns" but we are trusting God for peace and wisdom and good reports for our baby boy. (Prayers are greatly appreciated as the unknown is always scary.)

 Now for sweet monkey pics. =)

Layton at 2 months...

 

Garrison at 2 months...
 
Austin at 2 months...
 
2 Months Stats Happenings:
 
*You weigh 12 pounds, 5 ounces and are 23 and 3/4 inches long. You are in the 75th percentile for weight and length

*You are already wearing lots of 3-6 months clothing but you still have some 3 month outfits that fit. You seem bigger than your brothers at this age even though Austin weighed a little more at 2 months. You are growing fast and filling out your clothes and will be ready for size 2 diapers as soon as we finish the rest of the size 1's we have in stock. I seriously can't believe how fast you're growing!

*You are nursing every 3 hours during the day and every 3.5-4.5 hours at night. We've had a few nights of you only waking up once!

*You are loving your swing (which we keep in the kitchen) and sit there just about every meal time or while I cook. You always end up in our laps during supper though. Sometimes you're super fussy during that time and sometimes you just don't want to be left out. =)

*You are also loving your mobile. I turn it on for you while I get your bath water ready just like I did for your big brothers when they were babies. You also like to listen to it and watch it while I fold your clothes.

*You are not loving tummy time so much. Haha. But we keep working on it at least once a day for a minute or two. Speaking of tummy time.... you rolled over 3 or 4 times this month!

*You have been moved into your room for almost the entire month and eveything has gone really smoothly. We still swaddle you for naptimes and bedtime and I think it's safe to say you're officially a paci baby. You always take it to go to sleep.

*You started smiling for us this month! Oh there's nothing like it! You've also started cooing and trying to talk. I just love this little stage!

*Garrison and Austin LOVE and ADORE you! The newness still hasn't worn off. =) They love to give you kisses and sing to you and ask to hold you and just can't get enough of you. I am so excited for the friendship the 3 of you will have. A forever bond. You are blessed to have them just like they are blessed to have you!

*Happy Birthday Layton Thomas Selph! We love you!!!
 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Party Success, Picture Success

We had a really fun and busy weekend with 2 BIG things taking place. (At least they were big to us and took lots of preparation and work to get ready for.) First, we celebrated my mother-in-law and father-in-law's birthdays on Saturday... at our house. We rarely ever host family birthdays at our house because everyone lives in B'ville and it typically doesn't make sense to have everyone travel to us, but this time around it worked out perfect. And it was successful! Yay!

Then on yesterday afternoon we did our annual Easter pictures of the boys plus our black and white pictures of us and Layton. I was probably more nervous about these pictures than any others we've ever had done. We frame the black and white ones in our living room so we were hoping those would be good, and the Easter pics were the first "professional" pictures of all 3 of our boys together. So our expectations were both high and low. Ha! Thankfully the pictures appeared to be successful! I can't wait to see them all later this week. =)  

Terrell's parents and Granny came over Saturday morning and spent most of the day with us. We enjoyed having them over and celebrating Nana's belated birthday and Pops' early birthday. The boys were thrilled. Grandparents at our house = a big deal.

 
We decided to take the boys on an outing before lunch and chose a local jumpy/bouce house place. We don't go there very often at all so it was a huge treat for the big boys. They played hard and were worn out by Saturday afternoon. Austin practically asked for a nap and Garrison got emotional and moody and just plain tired Saturday afternoon.

 

We had a late lunch and Terrell grilled out hamburgers and hotdogs for us and I made some simple sides. Then we had cake and ice cream... complete with singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles. I think it was yummy and fun for everybody. I know the boys loved every second!

After lunch we just had some down time and eventually Austin took a nap and then all the grandparents got ready to leave. But not before a picture with Granny!

We had a super laid back Saturday night and were so thankful for party success and early bedtimes!

Yesterday after church we had leftovers for lunch and prepared for pictures.... which is always an adventure, always leads to some kind of drama, and always ends with mama and daddy making threats or offering bribes. Gracious.

While Layton was a tad fussy for his pictures with mama and daddy, he was perfectly content and wonderful for pictures with his big brothers. And I finally exhaled. Even though I told myself I wouldn't be disappointed if he wasn't cooperative because it would be a reflection of this point in time and memories and all that jazz, I still hoped he would do good and that we'd have some great pictures in the end. And I'm so excited for professional photo success! I know I will treasure them all (no matter what) because it's the first ones of all 3 of my babies... and I can't wait to see them!

This morning we're jumping right back into the swing of things. It's a school day, a grocery store day, and a pre-surgery appointment day. Please keep my hubby in your prayers this week as he has out-patient back surgery scheduled for Wednesday. We're looking forward to a fun Easter week and for daddy to get back to 100%!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Favorites: Spring Break Edition

My favorites from Spring Break....

*Monday was rainy and cold almost all. day. long. So we decided to stay in and the big boys enjoyed popcorn and a movie. They are always so cute with their bowls of popcorn or a snack when watching a movie. We may have started something... they now expect it every time they watch a movie. =)
 
*On Tuesday we ventured out to the library. Our first time going in forever. For some reason it's just hard for us to take trips there unless we're on a break from school. While Layton wasn't impressed and we had to cut our trip shorter than usual, Garrison and Austin were thrilled with new books. Yay for a love of books and reading! 
 
*On Wednesday we had a playdate and picnic at our church playground. We did this way back during our Fall Break and the boys loved it, so this time they were super excited again. We had a total of 5 moms there from our Sunday School class and 11 kiddos... which included a 3 month old, Layton, and a 2 week old. Layton enjoyed the playdate much more than the library. =)


*My biggest drew this picture yesterday and it was so precious I had to capture it and keep it. With Easter coming up and us talking a lot about the Easter story and Jesus dying for us, he drew a picture of the 3 crosses and the stone rolled away from the empty grave. He is understanding lots more this year. He still has questions and doesn't quite grasp it all, but I'm so thankful for what he's learning and "getting".

*Not once but twice this week I took all 3 boys to Walmart solo. All by myself. One boy in the back, one boy in the front, and one boy hanging on. The very first time I took them I sent Terrell a text and asked him to stop what he was doing and pray. For real. Mama was just a little nervous about the potential for DISASTER. Thankfully they all did great! Now we have groceries and we have all the goodies we need for the birthday celebration we have planned for Nana and Pops. Walmart isn't my favorite place... it's actually one of my least favorite places.... BUT, when it comes to fitting all 3 boys and groceries in a buggy plus being 5 minutes away, I just have to suck it up and go.

*I witnessed a sweet moment between my biggest and my baby this week. Love.

*Yesterday we went to Scoops for our afternoon snack. Superman was the flavor of choice! Since I've had to cut out all dairy for the time being I got peanut butter snack. It was delish but I'll be glad when I can enjoy ice cream again!!

*Layton was pretty content at Scoops. And present (but not necessarily pictured) at every outing this week. Baby boy is learning to go with the flow.

It's been a mostly fun Spring Break that we're all super thankful for. Now we have a fun weekend planned that includes celebrating birthdays with my in-laws and taking Easter pictures! Happy Friday!!